Meet Joey Ekloff (Creative Visionary/Artist)

Meet Joey, our ally, creative force and Kathryn’s husband. Joey’s day job is as a designer at Google, however, in his free time he enjoys playing toy instruments, upcycling random used goods, eating crunchy snacks too late into the evening and dealing with three opinionated females on the creative design for Persist the Game. His dedication to the project shines through in our logo, box design, website, and each and every “Truth” card’s original artwork.  

What inspired your artwork for Persist the Game?

I was obviously inspired foremost by the essence of what the game meant and messages on the first cards I saw. I was drawn to the vividness and spunk of many of the Truth cards and most of them stirred up scenes and images in my head right away. Heightening the storytelling by having visuals communicating between the lines can pull things into closer perspective.

As far as inspiration for the artwork style, I’m fond of the aesthetic of mid-century modern illustrations and vintage advertisements, but also wanted the vibe to feel unscripted and  approachable. Though a lot of vintage illustration are void of diverse female perspectives unless you count a woman serving the husband and kids in front of a variety of kitchens diverse. This game was a great opportunity to change that.

I like to start by drawing with a pen and paper as opposed to drawing digitally. I also felt there was a rawness to the stories and the one-liners in the cards that would be best portrayed by drawing freehand what I was envisioning. There’s a kind of vulnerability of working through the wavering and imperfect lines. Persist cards are similar, often putting the uncomfortable out in the open.

The box design is the way it is to embody creating connections, and to keep going when you hit a wall. The geometric lines on the front create a sophisticated pattern that reminds me of some kind of fashionable prize.

Have you played the game (if yes, what did you think)?

“Man, I feel like a woman!” Those were the first words that ended my first time playing. I’m a cisgender male and playing the game gave me a potent dose of empathy for everyone I played with, and for those who see the underside of societal missteps. While I’ve always considered myself an advocate for equality, an hour playing gives a rejuvenated sense of respect for people not of my gender.

On gameplay, this game strikes a nice balance of being  straightforward, and deep enough to keep things fresh.

As a male in tech, what do you think makes a good ally to women?  

Being considerate can cover a lot of ground. A good ally will recognize unfair treatment. A good ally is sensitive to situations that benefit from being proactive at supporting women. A good ally will make others feel comfortable, included, and respected.